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  • News
  • October 10, 2017

My Advocacy to Tunnel the Eglinton LRT

Early last year Mayor John Tory announced that he would no longer consider heavy rail on Eglinton Avenue as part of SmartTrack, and instead, would proceed with an LRT (light rail transit) from Mount Dennis to Pearson Airport. The plan originally proposed for the project was an LRT that would run along the middle of Eglinton Avenue on the surface of the road.

I believe that an LRT down the middle of Eglinton would be unacceptable and I have been fighting on your behalf, to tunnel the LRT.

Tunneling the LRT makes sense for many reasons:

  • Tunnelling the LRT is better for drivers. Eglinton Avenue is already gridlocked. It's a major artery in Etobicoke. An at-grade, (meaning on the surface of the road) LRT would make traffic worse.
  • Tunnelling the LRT is better for transit riders. We need to get Toronto moving. The right LRT plan will get people where they need to go when they need to be there. A tunneled LRT would not be slowed by traffic or stop lights and move more quickly.
  • Tunneling the LRT is better for taxpayers. To keep Etobicoke’s economy growing, we need to keep Eglinton moving. Tunneling the LRT would keep people, goods, and services flowing between Toronto, Pearson Airport, Mississauga and the entire region. Tunneling would also reduce long-term maintenance and upkeep costs.
  • Tunneling the LRT is safer for Etobicoke. Eglinton Avenue is gridlocked. The traffic spills over on local residential streets used by commuters as a shortcut. A tunneled LRT would reduce safety concerns.

I have consulted extensively with our community, co-hosted a Transit Town Hall and a community consultation both in Etobicoke with Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca.

I have also met on multiple occasions with the Premier, Mayor John Tory, and Minister Del Duca to advocate for tunneling.

Current Status of the Eglinton LRT

My advocacy has been key to Metrolinx and the City deciding to study the idea of burying or raising (by tunnelling or using bridges) the LRT at all major intersections; Martin Grove, Kipling, Islington, Royal York, Scarlett, and Jane; perform a traffic analysis, and hold more community consultations.

City of Toronto staff are expected to present this report to City Council in the coming weeks. I am hopeful that the staff report analyzes the traffic impact and studies the business case for all the available options, including tunneling the LRT from Scarlett to Martin Grove. This is important to me because it will enable City Council to make its next decision on how to build the LRT using all the facts and all the options.

Next steps are for Metrolinx and the City to produce a "Business Case Update" to Toronto City Council by Spring 2018. I have once again asked Mayor Tory and Minister Del Duca to ensure that the City of Toronto and Metrolinx perform a full business case and traffic impact analysis for all LRT options in this report, including tunneling the LRT from Scarlett to Martin Grove.

I will continue to do all I can to ensure both the City of Toronto and Metrolinx tunnel the Eglinton LRT.

Keep in Mind...

This website is provided for your convenience. If you'd prefer to call or email, my staff and I would be happy to hear from you.

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